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Audio-gd Compass 2 amp/DAC Impressions thread - Page 14

post #196 of 380

I'm just about to order the Sabre version of this DAC - just wondering if anyone is looking to sell theirs?  I'm in Australia.

post #197 of 380

Anyone using this amp with planars like t50rp or he500/lcd-2?  This amp outputs 2000 mW at 50 ohm, is that right?  Would love to hear your experiences with those headphones.  Also how is the pcm5102 version of this amp, seems like a nice budget option

post #198 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncola View Post
 

Anyone using this amp with planars like t50rp or he500/lcd-2?  This amp outputs 2000 mW at 50 ohm, is that right?  Would love to hear your experiences with those headphones.  Also how is the pcm5102 version of this amp, seems like a nice budget option

I use Compass 384 which has the PCM5102 with HE-500 daily, sounds really good and transparent IMO. I briefly auditioned the original compass at a meet and decided on my current one. It can output 2 W at 50 ohm or 2.2 W at 38 ohm (HE-500 impedance) at high gain but I keep it at low gain which is more than enough already to get loud IMO. I didn't find too much difference between low and high gain. Really great for the price.

post #199 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncola View Post
 

Anyone using this amp with planars like t50rp or he500/lcd-2?  This amp outputs 2000 mW at 50 ohm, is that right?  Would love to hear your experiences with those headphones.  Also how is the pcm5102 version of this amp, seems like a nice budget option


I have a Compass 2 that i use with a HE-500 occasionally. All i can say is that it sounds great and has plenty of power. I stream music from a NAS into a Squeezebox Touch.


Edited by pongagt - 10/17/13 at 2:42pm
post #200 of 380

I have the compass 2 with all three dac modules. Of course I've done some dac-rolling to figure out which one I like the best and for the fun of it :wink_face: 

 

The es9018 pushes detail and can seem a bit bright. The bass is neutral and it has a deep soundstage. The wm8741 has more bass, same deep soundstage and you can tune it with the filters to sound warm and fast at the same time if you like (8x oversampling, minimum phase, apodising filter), or more neutral and fast without getting too bright (8x oversampling, liniear phase, apodising filter) and so on... The pcm5102 also has more bass than the es9018, on the same level as the wm8741, but it is over all more forward and engaging than the wm8741 and the es9018 and this means the bass becomes more punchy and seems even more powerful than the wm8741. The soundstage is not as deep on the pcm5102 as the other two dacs, but it sounds more intimate and fun perhaps. There are two filters on the pcm5102. The FIR-filter is fast and powerful, good for details and fast paced music as you will be abled to hear everything separated and clear all the way down to lowest of low bass. The IIR filter sounds softer, the sound rings more out and with fast music this means the individual notes seem more together and not as clearly separated, and it also means that the bass doesn't hit as clearly and hard as with the FIR-filter. 

 

If you're considering the compass 2, get all the dac modules to go with it. It's the only way to find out what you actually prefer.

The compass 2 is a strange and anonymous amp, it hasn't got a sound of its own, it's all up to you to choose what you want and the compass 2 will deliver in a most convincing manner I can tell you. It becomes a very personal product in the end when you're done finding out what your personal preferences are and have set the compass to point in your direction.

So don't ask what the compass 2 sounds like, the question is: what do you want it to sound like?

 

 

Someone questioned the amp design further back in this thread, so just to clear things up: the amp is acss, non-feedback, discrete, the works, on the headphone out.

 

Oh, by the way it has more than ample power for the he-500, k701 and the likes, I used both and power is not an issue, only flavor is :wink_face: 


Edited by Dafo - 10/18/13 at 3:53am
post #201 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dafo View Post
 

I have the compass 2 with all three dac modules. Of course I've done some dac-rolling to figure out which one I like the best and for the fun of it :wink_face: 

 

The es9018 pushes detail and can seem a bit bright. The bass is neutral and it has a deep soundstage. The wm8741 has more bass, same deep soundstage and you can tune it with the filters to sound warm and fast at the same time if you like (8x oversampling, minimum phase, apodising filter), or more neutral and fast without getting too bright (8x oversampling, liniear phase, apodising filter) and so on... The pcm5102 also has more bass than the es9018, on the same level as the wm8741, but it is over all more forward and engaging than the wm8741 and the es9018 and this means the bass becomes more punchy and seems even more powerful than the wm8741. The soundstage is not as deep on the pcm5102 as the other two dacs, but it sounds more intimate and fun perhaps. There are two filters on the pcm5102. The FIR-filter is fast and powerful, good for details and fast paced music as you will be abled to hear everything separated and clear all the way down to lowest of low bass. The IIR filter sounds softer, the sound rings more out and with fast music this means the individual notes seem more together and not as clearly separated, and it also means that the bass doesn't hit as clearly and hard as with the FIR-filter. 

 

If you're considering the compass 2, get all the dac modules to go with it. It's the only way to find out what you actually prefer.

The compass 2 is a strange and anonymous amp, it hasn't got a sound og its own, it's all up to you to choose what you want and the compass 2 will deliver in a most convincing manner I can tell you. It becomes a very personal product in the end when you're done finding out what you personal preferences are and have set the compass to point in your direction.

So don't ask what the compass 2 sounds like, the question is: what do you want it to sound like?

 

 

Someone questioned the amp design further back in this thread, so just to clear things up: the amp is acss, non-feedback, discrete, the works, on the headphone out.

 

Oh, by the way it has more than ample power for the he-500, k701 and the likes, I used both and power is not an issue, only flavor is :wink_face: 

were you able to return the modules after or did you have to keep it?

post #202 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamijoIsMyHero View Post

were you able to return the modules after or did you have to keep it?

I want to keep the modules!
The are two main reasons for that. What if I buy another headphone in the future? Which dac will I prefer then to use with this new headphone? What if my preferences in sound character should change? If I didn't have the different dacs to choose from, I wouldn't be abled to go with the changes in myself, and that's perhaps the best reason for being abled to change the signature in the amp. With the different dacs at hand I never have to think about what may come, if my preferences in sound change I will change the dac to accomodate me.
It's the other way around with the compass, as to what we're used to, you don't have to accomodate to your new amp, you make it accomodate to you.
Edited by Dafo - 1/8/14 at 2:58am
post #203 of 380

Excellent comparion here Dafo, thanks a lot ;)

post #204 of 380

what is the best value with denon d7000 go to Sabre dac or wm8741 ? compass 2 or 11.32 and 15.32  i just need USB...

thx

post #205 of 380

I have the Compass 2 and wished it incorporated a balanced DAC/amp design with mini-XLR and SE output. Maybe this is something for the future - Compass 3? 

 

It means I have to look for something in between.

 

Steve

post #206 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveting99 View Post

I have the Compass 2 and wished it incorporated a balanced DAC/amp design with mini-XLR and SE output. Maybe this is something for the future - Compass 3? 



 



It means I have to look for something in between.



 



Steve


 



The corresponding Audio gd balanced unit has been the NFB-10 for years. Recently the NFB-28 was added.
Edited by i019791 - 10/21/13 at 7:00am
post #207 of 380
That's awesome. A valid comparison of the dac modules. I did find the ES9018 to be quite fast and very neutral. Perhaps a bit faster/dryer/more neutral than I would've personally liked for my headphones. I'm thinking I should've bought it with the warmer Wolfson dac.

I wish A-GD still sold the NFB-5. I kind of want it back.
post #208 of 380
Quote:
Originally Posted by i019791 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveting99 View Post
 

I have the Compass 2 and wished it incorporated a balanced DAC/amp design with mini-XLR and SE output. Maybe this is something for the future - Compass 3? 

 

 

 

It means I have to look for something in between.

 

 

 

Steve

 



The corresponding Audio gd balanced unit has been the NFB-10 for years. Recently the NFB-28 was added.

I did a quick check on Audio-GD website on the ES9018 products - surprised to see that the Compass 2 is "Balanced DAC + Amp + Preamp" sub-section. The headphone amp is single ended (SE) so there's no possibility of getting mini XLR to drive balanced headsets. Wonder if there's an error in the website, suspect so.

 

Steve

post #209 of 380
It is indeed a mistake in their site
post #210 of 380

I wish that the  AUDIO-GD website is better organized for ordering. There is no real ordering form anywhere on the web site for English. Information is kind of all over the place.

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